A selection of images from the archive including student work from Dundee, Chicago, and London. The period extends from 1984 until 1994, my art school days.
During the 1990s I was co-director of the Jibby Beane gallery. We specialised in promoting young postgraduates from London art colleges with some success. Hadrian Pigott, Martin Creed, Marcus Coates and Jane Simpson are among notable names who had some of their first exhibitions there. We also worked on larger scale projects such as 'Don't Be Scared' with Tony Kaye which featured naked performers with HIV/AIDS.
An exhibitor at the Jibby Beane stand at the Art97 fair in the Business Design Centre, Islington became notorious when he exhibited plaster casts taken from real dead bodies. Anthony Noel-Kelly became the first person ever charged in the UK with the theft of bodies. Although he did an inadvisable interview with the Independent on Sunday during the show it is likely that the only two people who objected, out of the thousands who visited, alerted the authorities. They were doctors who signed the visitors' book expressing their deep concern as to the ethics of creating art from donated body parts. The news went round the world like a wildfire.
I organised a few pieces of performance art and was very interested in the creative potential of video in the 1980s. A performance in Chicago in 1986 was meant to illicit a physical response from the audience. A 'victim' was selected and stripped, caged and removed from the tiny theatre. I performed this act uninterrupted until the last night when a guy jumped up and attacked me in a brave attempt to save the victim. I was so shaken, as was he, that I never performed art again.
I used to do a fair bit of street stenciling with a feminist/agitprop message. I have long been interested in the Situationist movement. A bus stop bench in Chicago displayed the 'Obedience is Suicide' slogan until local pressure forced the advertisers to cut short the six-week contract. Stenciling in the Paris subway nearly got me arrested in 1985. Luckily my French-speaking was so poor I think the gendarme thought it was too much trouble!